Former Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III offered his perspective based on his time backing up Jackson during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” morning show on Wednesday, August 25.
Griffin, who joined ESPN as an analyst earlier this month, called the 2019 MVP “an instinctual player,” arguing, “So right when teams think they’ve figured him out, they haven’t, because guess what? He doesn’t even know what he’s going to do next.”
RGIII Throws Down the Gauntlet for His Former Team
Griffin predicted that the Ravens would make the Super Bowl this year, saying “I know the guys in that locker room, I know how they work, I know how much it means to them…And I think Lamar Jackson gets it done,” he added with a smile.
Expectations are indeed high in Baltimore following three consecutive playoff berths with Jackson under center. Doubts about the Ravens passing offense have persisted into this season, but key additions along the offensive line and in the receiving corps should help the Ravens finish higher than last in the NFL in passing yards.
Of course, that ranking is due in large part to the Ravens run-heavy offense, which finished 18th in passing yards per attempt but dead last in attempts.
Even if the Ravens improve their air attack, don’t expect them to abandon their highly-successful scheme built around Jackson and the run game.
“At the end of the day, you have to stop him. He is the offense,” said Griffin.
Smashmouth Football Still Ravens’ Strength
The Ravens rushing scheme will still be their bread and butter this year, regardless of the preparation of opposing defenses.
Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager noted on “Good Morning Football” on Wednesday that defensive coordinators have been able to solve unique offenses in the past, like the Wildcat concept popularized by the Miami Dolphins.
But, Schrager argues, “This isn’t some gimmick. Every D knows what the Ravens are going to do & guess what? They do it anyway. They’re built unlike any other team. Loaded at fullback & tight end. They smash you in the face for 60 minutes.”
Defenses enter games against the Ravens knowing that they’ll run the ball, but powerful blocking and Jackson’s speed and elusiveness make their ground-and-pound offense almost impossible to start.
“They know what they do, and they do it well, and they’re not trying to hide it,” says Schrager.
Schrager broke down a clip of the Ravens’ offense, saying, “This is what their offense is. No other team carries this many fullbacks and tight ends. They’re very deliberate about who they are, they know that you know what they are, and it’s kind of cool that they look at you in the face and smack the snot out of you.”
The Ravens have doubled-down on their offensive philosophy this season, adding guard Kevin Zeitler and tackle Alejandro Villanueva in free agency and drafting guard Ben Cleveland and fullback Ben Mason.
Schrager joined Griffin in predicting continued success for the Ravens offense: “It would take a massive drop-off for this team to suddenly not to be able to block like they have been and Lamar not run like he has been.”